Within the world of post-rock there is no shortage of talented artists pushing the boundaries of musical creativity. But amongst the many artists of this experimental genre there are only a rare few with a knack for striking the balance between nuanced instrumental compositions and music which can appeal to popular taste. While international genre heavyweights like Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor have won global recognition and acclaim, there has yet to be an Aussie band which can put claim to similar heights of success.
If you’re gonna listen to Majora’s debut EP Iridescent, invest in a quality pair of headphones. The Newcastle four-piece is a hurricane of sonic post-rock.
Bursting onto the Australian music scene with debut EP Iridescent, talented Newcastle four-piece Majora are a promising new act which may just be up to the challenge. Formed earlier this year the group have already made waves on triple J Unearthed with first single Iridescent. The group’s large triple J following has also landed them a slot at Newcastle’s’ inaugural THIS THAT festival alongside RÜFÜS, Birds of Tokyo and Sticky Fingers.
While vocals and lyrics are generally the first thing a listener will latch on to in a song, Majora, as with many post-rock acts, eschew them altogether. Instead the quartet relies upon immersive sonic textures, hypnotic rhythms and emotive instrumental riffs to draw the listener into their music. Exemplary of the captivating euphoria, primal aggression and dark brooding of the group’s sonorous signature sound are opening tracks Aurora and Iridescent. Aurora’s bit-crushed drums, pulsing bass and ascending guitar riffs draw the listener into an immersive soundscape before giving way to a punchy alt-metal climax.
Iridescent oscillates between quieter sections where reverberant guitar motifs shiver with melancholy emotion and sections comprised of sonic eruptions of heavier aggressive sounds. Songs like Ritual might fail to hold the attention of non-genre fans, but work well in providing some contrast which helps tie the EP together as a cohesive whole.
There’s little question that Majora have done well in crafting an EP teeming with emotional moments. There is also no shortage of musical depth to their tracks. From the get go it is clear that there’s little room for the noodling or indulgent scuzz which has often come to be negatively associated with the post-rock genre. Constantly evolving sonic textures and instrumental timbres create complex layers of musical interest.
In terms of composition and production there is a great degree of intention and subtlety behind the role of each instrumental track and the overall dynamics of the mix. From the towering riffs of The Shaman to the most delicate of drones of fourth track Ritual, every sonic element has its place. The degree to which everything on the EP is levelled and well defined is a true testament to Majora’s discipline and passion for music.
With hypnotic tracks and an a appeal which spills outside the world of post-rock, it’s difficult not to get lost in the atmospheric and ethereal sonic landscapes of Majora’s impressive debut EP.